Inspired by Silicon Valley guru Paul Graham’s seminal essay to “do things that don’t scale,” they sourced cookies from bakeries in their three markets—snickerdoodles in San Francisco, frosted red velvet in L.A., classic chocolate chip in Washington, D.C.—which the ninja delivered, wrapped, along with the freshly laundered clothing. The gesture added another logistical wrinkle to an already complicated business, but it was worth it. “In the beginning, people loved it,” says Metzner. “Our social media went crazy, like, ‘Oh my God, Washio is the best!’ ” That was in the beginning. One Wednesday morning this spring, after staff at Washio had gathered for their daily “stand-up” meeting—a ritual suggested in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, a 2001 work-processes manual that advocates keeping employees on their toes by having them give status updates literally on their feet—operations manager Sam Nadler broke some bad news. “Actually,” he said, “we’re starting to get a lot of requests for healthy treats instead of cookies.” Ha, well, of course they were. Entitlement is a straight line pointing heavenward, and it should come as no surprise to Washio, where business is based on human beings’ ever-increasing desires, that their customers were upping the ante yet again.
— Silicon Valley’s Laundry-App Race — New York Magazine